How to Choose the Right Criminal Justice School near Washington New Jersey
So you have decided to pursue a criminal justice degree near Washington New Jersey. But once you have selected the type of program you want to pursue, just how do you undertake picking a college that will offer the proper training to help you realize your career objectives? Naturally the school you pick must offer the criminal justice degree and major that you have an interest in. And you will probably begin by searching for colleges that are near your home and comparing the tuition for each school. But there are additional considerations that you must examine before making your ultimate choice. For instance, the reputation and accreditation of the school are important factors as well. And if you have an interest in attending classes sitting at your computer rather than sitting in a classroom, then locating a quality online training program will similarly be a part of your search process. We will cover these and other qualifications that you may wish to utilize in your vetting process when selecting the ideal criminal justice college for you. But first, let’s talk a little bit about the criminal justice majors and degrees available along with the advantages of attending school online.
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered near Washington NJ
Similar to many other professions, criminal justice degrees are becoming more commonly needed for many careers in the field. And as the level of education and degree obtained advances, so increases the employment opportunities to choose from in Washington NJ. There are 4 degree levels offered, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Typically a 2 year degree, it provides an overview of such specialties as corrections, law enforcement and the judiciary system. A growing number of police departments are seeking applicants with at least an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree typically covers the same topics as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more expansive education makes available additional opportunities for such positions as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. Progressing to a Master’s Degree can require an additional two years of classes after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree enables students to become specialists in a specific aspect of criminal justice. Along with the opportunities provided with the lower degrees, graduates can also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. And last, for individuals with an interest in research or teaching at the college level, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is available also. Typically requiring anywhere from four to seven years to complete, it is a far more intense version of the Master’s program. Of course the time requirements for attaining any of the 4 degrees will be dependent on the credit load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Majors
There are a number of specializations to pick from when considering which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Maybe CSI has always interested you after watching numerous episodes of the different crime scene investigation shows. Or quite possibly you have always dreamed of being a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. No matter what your career objective, you need to pick a major and a degree in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that position. Enrolling in a school and program that specializes in that area would certainly be the ideal decision toward that end. Maybe you have not yet made up your mind on a specialty or a career focus yet. In that case, it would be best to research all of the degree alternatives available from the various colleges and universities. Following is a partial list of criminal justice degree majors offered in the Washington NJ area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Prior to enrolling in the program you have selected, investigate the degree program you have an interest in along with the college. Just because a criminal justice school is accredited and has an outstanding reputation in general does not guarantee that all of its specialty programs are equally highly respected. That’s why it is essential to choose a major first before selecting a college to enroll in.
Attending Criminal Justice Online Schools
A number of prospective students might not have access to a criminal justice degree program in their area, or they may just prefer the flexibility of earning a degree online. In either case, they will find that there are accredited options available online. There are numerous schools located within the United States that offer online degree programs similar to the ones offered on-campus. And for many Washington NJ students, particularly those who continue to work full or part-time while earning their degree, the convenience and accessibility of online programs may make them the only option. And as an added advantage, online schools are frequently more affordable than on campus options. Tuition can be lower and expenditures for such things as study materials and commuting may be eliminated or reduced also. Just make certain, as with any college you are reviewing, that the program you select is accredited by an approved agency, such as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are motivated, and can learn in this type of unsupervised setting, then earning your degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Concerns to Ask Criminal Justice Schools
By now you have no doubt come to a decision on a criminal justice major and degree program, as well as if you want to obtain your degree online or by going to classes on-campus. Having made those decisions, it’s time to start searching for Washington NJ area colleges and narrowing down your options. Because there are so many schools to pick from, in fact hundreds within the USA alone, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifying questions to utilize when evaluating colleges. Naturally cost is a significant factor and you will need to enroll in a college that fits within your scholastic budget. And we have already pointed out several others as well, including location, accreditation and reputation. To help you focus on those concerns and more, following is a list of questions you might wish to ask the schools you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Criminal Justice College Accredited? Many criminal justice schools have acquired one or more accreditations from regional or national agencies. Among the most highly regarded is the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). Colleges and programs that have been accredited by the ACJS have gone through an extensive screening of their course of instruction and teachers. It’s essential to confirm that the program and school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for several reasons. In addition to helping assure that you receive an excellent education, it will also help in acquiring student loans or financial aid, which are frequently not obtainable for non-accredited colleges. Additionally, many Washington NJ employers are looking for graduates of schools that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the Reputation of the College? As mentioned previously, along with accreditation the reputation of the college you select is important as well. It’s especially crucial if you are getting in the profession with no relevant previous job history. Without any previous experience, Washington NJ employers will be weighing the quality of your education as a key factor when reviewing your resume. There are several school rating organizations where you can find school rankings and reviews, including U.S. News and World Report. They look at the quality of the core curriculum, the reputation of the instructors and other variables contributing to the academic programs. Remember that a college with an overall less than outstanding reputation might still be highly respected for a particular degree program that you may have an interest in.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Find out what the graduation percentages are for the Washington NJ schools you are reviewing. A low percentage might be an indicator that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out, or that the instructors were not capable of teaching the curriculum. It’s also important that the schools have job placement programs with high placement rates. A job assistance program will help you get that first crucial job after graduation that marks the start of your career in criminal justice. A higher placement rate will not only help affirm that the college has an excellent reputation within the industry, but that it also has a sizable network of employers to help students obtain positions after graduation.
How Far Away are the Campuses Located? As we discussed at the opening of this article, among the initial things you will probably consider when searching for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have determined that you will move or perhaps live on campus, the school you pick will need to be within commuting distance of your Washington NJ residence. Naturally attending classes online will eliminate the need for travel and make location a non-issue. One thing to bear in mind is that if you opt to attend a school not in your state of residence, you may be charged a higher tuition than resident students, particularly for state colleges and universities. Community colleges also tend to charge students higher fees if their residence is outside of the school district or state.
How Large are the Classrooms? Unless you like to get lost in the crowd, going to small classes offers the option for more interaction with the instructors. Large classes allow for little chance of receiving individualized instruction if needed. One method to evaluate the interaction between faculty and students is to sit in on a couple of classes before making your ultimate determination. Speak with some of the students and ask what their experiences have been. Also, talk to the instructors and ask them what their teaching styles are. You might also want to ask what their experiences have been in the New Jersey criminal justice field.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it’s important to make sure that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Washington NJ, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Washington NJ?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Washington NJ, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Washington area where your school campus will be located.
Washington, New Jersey
Washington is a borough in Warren County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 6,461, reflecting a decline of 251 (-3.7%) from the 6,712 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 238 (+3.7%) from the 6,474 counted in the 1990 Census. The borough is located in the eastern most region of the Lehigh Valley.
Washington was incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 20, 1868, from portions of Washington Township. The borough was named for George Washington, one of more than ten communities statewide named for the first president. The Borough of Washington is surrounded by Washington Township, which is one of five municipalities in the state of New Jersey with the name "Washington Township".
Washington Borough separated from Washington Township as of February 20, 1868. The community grew during the 19th century as a result of the transportation routes that ran through or near the borough. The Morris Canal ran along the north end of town and two rail lines of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad crossed within the borough. Intersecting in the center of the borough are two major roadways, which today are Route 31 and Route 57. The borough was ultimately named for the "Washington House", a tavern built by Revolutionary War Col. William McCullough in 1811 that was later destroyed by fire in 1869.
Choose the Right Criminal Justice School near Washington NJ
Making certain that you enroll in the right criminal justice program near Washington NJ is vital to your receiving the proper training to be successful in this exciting and growing profession. Employers respect which college you earned your criminal justice degree from, so it’s in your best interest to care also. Attaining the greatest possible success in your criminal justice career begins with choosing the optimal criminal justice college based on your career objectives. As we have covered in this article, it’s imperative that the college and degree program you pick both are accredited and have excellent reputations. Additionally, verify that the college has a job assistance program with a high success rate for placing its graduates. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Top Online Schools For Criminal Justice. However, by utilizing our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to evaluate and compare the criminal justice colleges you are looking at so that you can narrow down your options and make the right selection. And when you have made the ideal decision, you will get the proper training so that you can launch your successful career in criminal justice.
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